7:53pm: Per John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, the Suns, while interested, have not made a promise to Garland.
6:15pm: Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, a projected top-five pick in this year’s draft, will skip this week’s NBA Draft Combine, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, who adds that Garland’s departure from Chicago may be tied to a promise from a team picking in the lottery.
The three likeliest teams to have given that promise appear to be the Lakers, Suns, or Bulls, who pick fourth, sixth, and seventh, respectively. The Cavs, who pick fifth, selected Collin Sexton in last year’s lottery, and are therefore unlikely to add another point guard to their roster with their top selection.
Phoenix and Chicago, meanwhile, are both widely known to be looking for a franchise point guard to complement their young, promising rosters, while the Lakers have the first opportunity to select a player after the presumptive top-three players (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett) are selected by the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Knicks, respectively.
Despite appearing in only five games for Vanderbilt this season due to a season-ending knee injury, Garland has continued to move up draft boards after averaging 16.2 PPG on an impressive .537/.478/.750 shooting in those five games. He is widely considered the No. 2 point guard prospect behind Morant.